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A Vegan Shopping List for Beginners

Written By: Paul

Last Updated on February 25, 2021

If you are new to a vegan diet, your old pattern for grocery stop shopping will have to change. The ways that you used to go to the store may no longer be sustainable for your new lifestyle. It's important to examine the typical items that you like to eat and make sure that they are diet-friendly.

It's also important to set a realistic budget and plan ahead to successfully navigate the grocery store. Always buy items that match your recipes so that you don't end up with a bunch of things you'll never eat. Your list may vary from week to week, here are some staple items that can help you get started.

The Basics - Building Your Vegan Grocery List

Your vegan shopping list will naturally depend on the specifications of your diet and what you prefer to consume. In general, a quick checklist for your vegan grocery list would include:

  • some healthy sweets such as not based bars or dark chocolate,
  • frozen fruit and vegetables for convenience,
  • canned or dry beans for plant-based protein,
  • whole grains such as oats,
  • complex carbs such as potatoes,
  • leafy greens,
  • and fruits and vegetables that are fresh.

If you're going for a whole foods approach, you want to have limited processed items in your grocery cart. Additionally, you may want to include dairy alternatives such as cashew or almond milk. When planning your grocery list, it can help to instead plan for your meals for the week and get the necessary ingredients for those dishes.

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Shopping for Nutrients

It's important to eat a variety of different food so that you make sure to get nutrients that your body needs. Consider filling your grocery list with:

  • sources of protein such as beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, and tempeh
  • healthy fats such as avocado, and nuts
  • unrefined carbs
  • food high in fiber such as fruits and vegetables

It can help to read a nutrition guide to determine the nutritional value of everything on your list. When it comes to different vitamins and nutrients, diverse food for vegans can cover everything you need in your diet. If you find something lacking, you can take vitamin supplements to make up for the difference.

Some food sources for omega-3 fatty acids include walnuts, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and flax seeds. For iodine you can use iodized salt or seaweed. Some sources of zinc include almonds, pumpkin seeds, tofu, chickpeas, and oats. Oats are also a good source of iron along with spinach, lentils, and dried figs. When it comes to calcium, you can get your daily dose from fortified plant-based milk, tahini, oranges, and green vegetables.

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What Not to Buy

Naturally, you don't want to put food on your vegan grocery list that do not comply with the vegan diet. As a reminder, these items include:

  • meat such as lamb, turkey, poultry, pork, and beef
  • fish such as shrimp, salmon, and other Seafood;
  • eggs and food that comes from eggs
  • dairy milk
  • cheese, yogurt, ice cream, butter, and other dairy products
  • gelatin and honey.

Sometimes, there are hidden animal products in different foods. So, you also need to check the labels of your food or animal-based ingredients such as colon lard, glycerin, fatty acids, collagen, lactose, shellac, rennet, whey, and casein.

Grocery List

The ways that you categorize your own grocery list depend on your preferences. Our categories are separated by food group so that you can find your plant foods for every type of food group. If you are on a plant-based diet and not complete vegan, you may be able to add some of your own items to this list. Additionally, this list doesn't mean that you need to buy all of these things at once. You may want to keep it simple when you start to go vegan and slowly build up your pantry to have all of your favorite brands over time.

Pantry Items

Your pantry items can make or break your vegan foods. You may have canned fruits and veggies as well as dried herbs and snack items in your pantry. Some other pantry must-haves include:

Natural Sweeteners

If you like to bake, there are many sweetener alternatives to using white sugar. These options include agave syrup, coconut sugar, maple syrup, molasses, Stevia, organic cane sugar, and dates.


To bring in some flavor to your veggies or to make sauces and dressing, you might want to have vinegar, sauerkraut, nutritional yeast, sweet chili sauce, ketchup, salsa, mustard, miso paste, soy sauce, green curry paste and red curry paste, and coconut milk

Baking Items

Some baking items for your vegan grocery list include different types of flowers such as chickpea flour, quinoa flour, coconut flour, almond flour; vital wheat gluten; coconut flakes; shredded coconut; vanilla extract; cornstarch; baking powder; baking soda.

Whole Grains

For whole grains and whole grain products, your options include:

  • millet
  • rolled oats, steel-cut oats
  • brown and wild rice
  • brown rice pasta, quinoa pasta, whole wheat pasta
  • rice cakes
  • buckwheat, barley, teff
  • whole-grain bread
  • farro
  • freekeh

Dairy Alternatives

Vegan diet products include non-dairy milk and yogurt. You may choose to replace your dairy products with oat milk, hemp seed milk, coconut milk, almond milk, cashew milk, coconut yogurt, almond or cashew yogurt, cashew cheese. other dairy alternatives include soy, rice, hemp, and other nuts and seeds.

If you're struggling to transition, you may also want to get some process dairy alternatives to help you replace the Staples in your diet. Some Brands make plant-based foods such as vegan ice cream, butter, coconut creamer, vegan cheese, and vegan sour cream and cream cheese. If you are on a whole plant Foods diet, then you want to stay away from these process products.

Herbs and Spices

Having a solid collection of herbs and spices will allow you to make great-tasting meals without a lot of salt. If you're going for low sodium Whole Foods you can still use sea salt and your kitchen to flavor your food. many herbs contain health benefits such as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Some options include:

  • Italian seasoning
  • ground ginger or gingerroot
  • curry powder
  • turmeric
  • cumin
  • cloves
  • cilantro
  • fresh chives
  • cayenne pepper
  • red pepper flakes
  • ground chili powder
  • celery seed
  • dried bay leaves
  • dried basil
  • black peppercorns
  • dried dill
  • dried rosemary
  • parsley


Beans, lentils, peanuts, and soy products are all plant-based foods in the legumes category. They are an excellent source of protein and give you vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Additionally, many of these items are budget-friendly. They include:

  • Adzuki beans
  • navy beans
  • split peas
  • red lentils
  • green lentils
  • kidney beans
  • pinto beans
  • fava beans
  • white kidney beans
  • black-eyed peas
  • black beans
  • green beans

Some soy products are soy milk, soy protein, edamame, tempeh, and tofu.

Nuts and Seeds

In addition to beans, nuts and seeds also have nutritional value. for a vegan diet Their nutrients include Vitamin E, iron, calcium, zinc, and magnesium. You can snack on nuts to throw them into oatmeal or desserts. Your vegan grocery list can include:

  • pecans, walnuts, cashews, pine nuts, hazelnuts, pistachios
  • pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, flaxseeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds
  • nut butter such as Earth Balance butter, almond butter, peanut butter
  • seed butter such as tahini to sunflower seed butter

Seeds are a great way to get those health benefits while saving money on nuts, pecans, on almonds.


Your vegan diet should incorporate many different kinds of vegetables. They are necessary to address nutrient deficiencies and prevent chronic disease. The veggies you get form this section depend on your choice of meal plan for the week. You may choose fresh, frozen vegetables or canned veggies.

  • kale, spinach, arugula, collard greens
  • cauliflower, broccoli, red cabbage, green cabbage, napa cabbage, brussel sprouts
  • root vegetables such as rutabagas, turnips, potatoes, yams, sweet potato, carrots, parsnips
  • asparagus, bell peppers, artichokes, celery, beets
  • onions and shallots, garlic, mushrooms
  • squash, zucchini, corn


Fruits are nutritious, plant-based foods vegan that are perfect for snacking, dessert, or breakfast. Eating a variety of fresh or frozen fruit will help you get your micronutrients weekly. Some fresh fruit options include:

  • Bananas
  • Applies
  • Kiwi
  • Watermelon
  • Pomegranate
  • Figs
  • Grapes
  • Raspberries, strawberries, blueberries
  • Cherries, peaches, plums, nectarines
  • Lemons, limes, orange, grapefruit, apricot, clementines
  • Honeydew melon, cantaloupe
  • Jackfruit, durian, passionfruit, pineapple, lychee, dragonfruit, mando, papaya

If you're looking for a calorie-dense snack, dried fruit may be the way to go. Some dried fruits such as sun dried tomatoes, raisins, cranberries, and other fruits like goji berries, blueberries, cherries, mango go perfectly in plant-based recipes.

Meat Replacements

If you need to make a slow transition to a plant-based diet, you can add vegan meat options to your vegan grocery list in addition to beans and tofu. Some of the well-known companies are Beyond Meat, Tofurky, and Gardein. Your options include:

  • Coconut or tempeh bacon
  • Seitan
  • Vegan nuggets and deli slices
  • Vegan sausages
  • Vegan burgers
  • Pulled jackfruit
  • Vegetable protien

Vegan Snacks

Your veganism food can of course involve fun snacks that you enjoy. Whether you’re indulging or keeping it healthy, plant-based, there's nothing wrong with searching fro different vegan snacks such as:

  • spring rolls
  • frozen waffles, pizza, fries
  • trail mix
  • pretzels, popcorn
  • crackers and chips
  • vegan cookies
  • granola or oat bars
  • healthy vegan protein bars


What is a list of vegan foods?

There are plenty of vegan food options. A plant-based lifestyle may include frozen veggies, fresh vegetables, herbs, spices, grains, legumes, pasta, quinoa, frozen fruits and fresh fruits, rice, beans, and lentils. Specifially, one could eat mango, mixed veggies, almonds, walnuts, tomatoes, bell peppers, dried beans, kidney beans, corn, peas, canned legumes, tempeh, edamame, and many other products. It’s important to always make sure to vary your food intake to get the most nutritional benefits.

What should a beginner vegan eat?

You want to eat a variety of foods that are a great source of nutrients. Keep your grocery list vegan by sticking to items like leafy green vegetables, fresh fruit, nut-based milk, lentils, beans, and more. Don’t eat meat, cheese slices, dairy, or honey.

There are plenty replacements for times you may miss such as vegan meat, dairy-free ice cream, and dairy-free yogurt. You can often find a printable vegan grocery list to help you make delicious, plant-based recipes.

Which supermarket is best for vegan food?

Some of your options include Wegmans, Whole Foods, Ralphs, Target, Kroger, Safeway, Sprouts, Publix, King Soopers, Trader Joe's, Winn-Dixie, Walmart, and Albertsons.

What should a vegan eat everyday?

Eating vegan doesn’t mean only eating the same things per week. You can vary your diet and include items you really enjoy such as oats, rice, fresh and frozen vegetables, hot peppers, nuts, pistachios, snap peas, blueberries, raspberries, dried legumes, quinoa, brown rice, soups, and stews. In your daily diet as a vegan, there's nothing wrong with eating refined items or processed snacks.

If you're going for a whole food, plant-based diet, you'll want to avoid processed items such as bleached flour, oils like olive oil, and things with added sugar.

Final Thoughts - Grocery Shopping for the Vegan Lifestyle

If you are going vegan, it can be a challenge to adjust to a new shopping routine, The next time you go to the store, stock up and freeze some cooking items or meals for those days when you just don't know what to eat. Having ready-to-eat items can make your transition easier.

Reflecting your meal plan on your grocery list will help you stick to your meal plans as well. Buy vegan substitutes for the items you enjoy, but don't rely on those too heavily as you go on. Try to build a vegan pantry and fridge full of dairy-free vegan items, canned beans, quinoa, tofu, tempeh, dried and canned vegetables, diced tomatoes, seed butter, tahini, zucchini, mushrooms, and tons of other nutrient dense foods.

For the best chance of success, don't be afraid to try new things.


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Hi, I'm Paul. Welcome to my website! I, along with my cronies, are leveraging our years of working in the food industry to review meal and drink delivery services. We review. You eat happily ever after.

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